WYTHEVILLE, Va. – The Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development has approved Wythe County’s request to renew and expand the county’s enterprise zones.

The Virginia Enterprise Zone program is a partnership between state and local government that encourages job creation and private investment through special incentives and grants for businesses wishing to expand their operation in the Commonwealth.

In addition to formally requesting to be renewed for another five years, the Board of Supervisors voted on June 10, 2014, to expand the county’s enterprise zone. Previously, the zone had been limited to Progress Park, but has now been approved to include the land around Interstate 81’s Exits 77, 80, 81, 84, 86, as well as areas which fell under the jurisdiction of town governments in the county.

Municipal governments in the towns of Wytheville and Rural Retreat also elected to designate certain incentives to enterprise zones that fall within their locality.

“Job creation has always been at the top of this Board’s agenda and by expanding our enterprise zones to include the areas along the interstate corridor, we are broadening our net. We have the traffic and infrastructure in place – now that the areas around these exits are labeled as an enterprise zone, we’ll be able to offer additional incentives which may be the determining factor in business choosing to come to Wythe County,” stated Tim Reeves, Chairman of the Wythe County Board of Supervisors.

A number of prerequisites have been instituted for a business to be eligible for enterprise zone grants; these requirements include offering health insurance to employees, as well as paying employees a minimum of 175% of the federal minimum wage.

Representatives from the Department of Housing & Community Development met with local economic leaders in the county this morning, discussing strategies and making recommendations to ensure a positive impact on the community during the next five years.

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WYTHEVILLE, Va. – The Wythe County Administrator’s Office has unveiled the 2015 Official Wythe County Road Map.

In addition to including all named roads in the county, the 27” x 40” map includes other details such as an index to county facilities; these facilities include solid waste & recycling centers, county libraries, schools and emergency services buildings.

Displaying the route of the popular New River Trail, a 57-mile linear state park that follows an abandoned railroad right-of-way, as well as elevation markers and detailed views of area communities, the maps are certain to appeal to a highly diverse audience.

“Even in the age of GPS and mobile mapping, we’re finding that paper maps are still in great demand. For many businesses and individuals, it’s simply quicker to glance at a map hanging on the wall to find a specific location, rather than go through all the hassle that often accompanies using a computer generated map. We listened to local businesses and are pleased that the 2015 county map will meet all of their needs.” said Tim Reeves, Chairman of the Wythe County Board of Supervisors.

The reverse side of the map focuses on the Town of Wytheville, offering travelers a closer look at the town’s roadways and points of interest.

The maps are available to the general public at a price of only $2 — just enough to cover the costs associated with producing and distributing the foldable documents — and may be purchased at the county administrator’s office or the Town of Wytheville’s Municipal Building.

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BARREN SPRINGS, Va. – Work is set to begin in just a matter of days on the Barren Springs Waterline Extension, which will provide reliable drinking water to residents in the Barren Springs community.

According to county officials, construction on the waterline is set to begin in the opening days of January and is slated to be completed within a year’s time.

The Wythe County Board of Supervisors has made completion of this project one of its primary objectives for 2015, as dozens of households in the community are presently without reliable drinking water.

In addition to providing residents in the southeastern Wythe County community with a dependable source of potable water, the waterline will also add an extra level of fire security that may equate to a reduction in insurance rates for local citizens.

“The new waterline will prove invaluable to local fire crews in the area, as fire hydrants will be available approximately every 1,000 feet,” said Jason Kinser, Wythe County’s emergency coordinator.

Wythe County officials say the Barren Springs waterline is but a piece of a much larger economic development effort focused in the area. A separate waterline is also scheduled to link Jackson Memorial Elementary School to the New River Water Plant – the same source of water Barren Spring residents will soon be enjoying. County leaders also say that a sewer system is in the works for Exit 24, which they believe will allow opportunities for restaurants and additional businesses off the Interstate – 77 exit.

“Earlier this year, the Board made the decision to step in and provide relief to the residents of Barren Springs – I’m just glad to see that we’ve finally reached the point dirt is being overturned and pipes are being laid,” said Tim Reeves, who serves as Chairman of the Wythe County Board of Supervisors.

Reeves went on to state that the overall project will serve as a critical component for attracting businesses and growth in the area.

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